When Life Seems Clear As Mud

Brad Livingston   -  

“You love righteousness and hate wickedness; therefore God, your God, has set you above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy.” – Psalm 45:7


During my freshman year of high school, I remember my teacher asking if I understood something. She said, “It’s clear as mud, right?” In all honesty, whatever she was talking about was probably muddier than it was clear for me, lol. But I’ve always remembered that phrase, “clear as mud”. In reality, much of what we experience in life tends to be that way. Circumstances, fear, concern, and so much more, tend to show up in our lives making what used to be a life of clarity and a future that is clear, turn into a bit of a mess of uncertainty. Add to that, the fact that 2020 has been a year that I truly believe anything is possible, and not in a good way. All that said, clear as mud may be a fair definition for some parts of your life right now.


This past Sunday, I preached on “The Clearer Picture” where we showed you in God’s Word how being connected to Him ensures that we are being continually filled and fueled to live the life God has for us. (John 15). 


“If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples…I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.” – John 15:7-8, 11


How is this possible? Jesus quotes the prophet, Isaiah in Luke 4:16-21, and mentions that the “Spirit of the Lord was upon Him” and had “anointed him to preach good news to the poor”. This is an important thing to note because although Jesus was fully man, he was also fully God. Yet, while on the Earth there was still a necessary connection between him and the Spirit of God. Even Jesus knew that just knowing about God doesn’t compare to what you have when you are connected to Him. Taking it one step further, Jesus even tells us that He and the Father are one (John 17:21) and yet he still needed/wanted the anointing and connection to the Holy Spirit. 


When referencing the joy of the Holy Spirit, the famous preacher Charles Spurgeon says it like this, “Wherever he comes as an anointing, whether upon the Lord or upon his people, upon the Christ or the Christians, upon the Anointed or upon those whom he anoints, in every case the ultimate result is joy and peace. On the head of our great High Priest (Jesus), he is joy, and this oil of gladness flows down to the skirts of his garments. To the Comforter, therefore, we ascribe ‘“the oil of gladness.’” Spurgeon goes on to say, “The divine Spirit has many attributes, and his (gentle) influences operate in diverse ways, bestowing upon us benefits of various kinds, too numerous for us to attempt to catalog them. Amongst these is his comforting and cheering influence. ‘“The fruit of the Spirit is joy.’”


The prophet Isaiah, Jesus, the Apostle Paul, Charles Spurgeon, and so many more want us to see that the Holy Spirit is the conduit by which true joy flows to us. Without our connection with the Spirit of God, we cannot possibly have the joy of God.


Inconsistencies and uncertainties cause us to doubt so much about who God is, or at least who He is for us. But, what if we decide ahead of time who God is, and then stay connected to His presence before things go bad or crazy in our lives? Then we can take on the Oil of Joy, the overflowing anointing of Joy, that overcomes our doubt and emotions and plugs us into the powerful clarity of who God is in our life. We do this so that when things in life seem clear as mud, we can still choose joy because we’ve already chosen to be connected to Him.


What to Pray:

“God, in a world where I’m constantly driven to pursue the gifts you’ve given me, more than you, help me find true joy in you. Holy Spirit, I’m inviting you to meet with me in such a way that you help transform my heart and renew my mind. Help me see that although happiness that comes from the world may be circumstantial, your joy is not. Fill me with your Spirit so that none of me is left. In Jesus name, Amen.”